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Archive for June, 2009

AXLE: The muscle of the wagon.  “There is LIFT in opposition”  

I get myself into trouble quite regularly by offering my opinions in other religious circles.  But whenever I put my testimony out there to anyone, it gives me “lift”.  In this type of opposition there is lift.  What about other types?  I have learned to recognize when an anticipated experience is going to be wonderful by relating to the opposition that precedes it.
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No Bull

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For Father’s Day my husband, finally after all these years, found the perfect fiberglass replica of a bull.  We picked it up tonight, after a little stress, because he couldn’t find his trailer to haul it on.  People were actually pointing and laughing at us on our way home.  I told my hubby he had better learn to take it because everyone in town would be doing the same, and unless he wanted his bull associated with negative stigma, he’d better laugh along.

Yes, the wheel is getting a little squeaky over this.   Let’s take a closer look at the hub:  It is very strong, holding the spokes firmly in place.  But it looks like it would be a little squeaky around the axle area, so to  grease it up good might be in order.

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AXLE GREASE: Love…Must be plenty of axle grease for the wheels to turn and the axle to slide in smoothly. If not the wheels will squeak, wear, and the wagon will break down.

The family really should stop teasing dear old dad about his bull, and dear old dad should look for the humor in the teasing.  Me?  I’m genuinely happy about it and supportive.  Even helped him design a spot for it out in the pasture.

Happy Father’s Day.  This video reminds me of the kind of father and husband you are to us.  Oh so generous, and hey, you have a good eye.  😉

It also reminds me of my father.  Happy Father’s Day Dad.

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What a great post today on American Thinker.  This really hits the nail on the head.

The westward-bound Conestoga wagons of the 19th century are an emblem of America’s expansion. They also offer a useful analogy for our current situation.

 Why is that?  In order for the pioneer family to successfully cross the Kansas prairie, they had to leave the family heirlooms, trunks, pianos and chest behind.  Space had to be opened up for food and supplies for the family but the item that was most essential was grain for the teams that pulled the wagon. Care of the team, whether they were oxen, mules or horses was the most important factor. Without them, the wagon and the family were lost.  If the team failed, the family was stranded on the prairie and they faced starvation and death.  The pioneer also had to take great care of the wagon, a broken wheel or cracked axle meant disaster. Contrary to the movie depictions, the family walked beside the wagon. The women, children and pets walked. The only people who were allowed to ride were the sick and the injured. As soon as they got better, they had to get off and walk. Why? They couldn’t afford to burden the team with the extra weight. The survival and fitness of the team equaled success and survival.

These pioneers also had to count on themselves for protection.  They faced many dangers and had no one to protect them from wild animals, Indians and thieves.  As a result, they were heavily armed.  Firearms were tools just like the axe and the shovel.  They didn’t have the government to defend them, feed them or house them.  Most of them survived and prospered. The ones who refused to drop the piano off at the river crossing and insisted on taking the extra baggage with them at the expense of food for the team usually failed.  The team died or the wagon broke down and they were left in the middle of the prairie to face the winter with no food or shelter.  There were no anti-gun advocates on the wagon trail either. Guns were their  best friends.

Now look at the country a mere one hundred and fifty years later.  We are in the middle of the prairie.  The team pulling the wagon (the tax payer) has been pulling hard for years and they are getting tired.  The wagon (the government) is loaded down to the railings. It is full and can’t hold any more.  The axles are buckling under the strain and the spokes of the wheels are failing.  There are some people riding the wagon that need to be there.  They are the old, the sick and the unfortunate (social security, Medicare and temporarily unemployed).  Unfortunately for the team, there are far too many who are on the wagon that shouldn’t be there.   They have been on the wagon for generations and never plan to get off.

When the team dies, they will sit with the wagon until it rots and someone comes to save them. If a savior never shows up, they will die in place feeling sorry for themselves until their last breath.

So here we are in 2009. The team is faltering under the strain and it looks like they can’t pull the wagon much further.  There isn’t much more they can give.  The wagon is maxed out. The people on the wagon refuse to get off, in fact they demand more even when their doom is staring them in the face.  The snow clouds are gathering and it looks bleak.

At least settlers in wagon trains were sometimes saved by the cavalry.  Our so called leaders just arrived on the scene and put a 100 ton mill stone (stimulus package) in the wagon. 

We are stuck here for the next two winters. 

No one knows what the future will bring, but I found a key to getting our wagon over that treacherous gulf.   See if you can visualize your covered wagon going over safely.  secret

Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God….. lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—

This idea I file under the whole   wheel

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When I read WHY this morning, I had to ask and reflect, then reflect and ask again, “is this found anywhere on my wagon?  Did I leave out something as important as this??  Everything about life is dis-jointed until principle meets practice.  Life will not stay the steady course, but go hither tither and yon.   The most obvious analysis would be found in the spokes, because it is evident there where we actually spend our time.   I studied the canopy, where we keep our promises to the Lord, and where we can easily identify leaks.  But where principle meeting practice really shows up is in the rims:

STEEL RIM: Refinement.  Metal strip is cut 1/2″ shorter than wheel circumference.  Refinement process of steel is like trials and challenges we face.  The fiery furnace melts the ends together and it becomes an eternal round.  Heat swells the rim again and it fits over the wooden wheel.  When the whole wheel is dipped in cold water, the steel rim shrinks and binds it all together.

What is the purpose of trials if not to (discover and) connect principle with practice, squeezing the wooden rim, and holding it all together, tightly in the process:

WOODEN RIM: Well-Roundedness…Each round wheel rim is composed of four sections of curved wood that holds all the spokes in their proper place.   These four sections might be labeled:   Work, Play, Worship &  Service.  Bear in mind that Family, Church, Community and Self must have a presence in all four.  Each section must be well rounded in order for the spokes to stay in place, and the wagon to roll forward.

If we cannot answer “why” to the commandments we are given, we will not have the understanding necessary to instill the power within us to be able to keep those commandments.

I file Principle meets Practice under STEEL RIM and by so doing hope that we might all succeed in teaching our children to ask the right questions, and then help them discover the answers that will instill principle deeply within their soul.

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Religious Pornography

Pornography addiction

For now, I’m going to attempt to label what I am currently thinking/saying/doing as one of the parts of my covered wagon, and see where the wagon goes from here.  My wagon must keep moving, and I must keep current.  

On another blog today there was the idea that Christians may become too God-focused.    Something about this idea was unsettling. I have recognized this almost fanatical approach to God on other Christian forums, where believers seem to be running after the rainbow, never quite catching up to the pot of gold.  Then justifying themselves by stating nobody ever catches the pot of gold. “Not whether all things are centered in, related to, dependent on, destined for and exist to glorify God, but whether some expressions of Christianity can become so God-focused that the significance of what is not God- including all things in human experience- are devalued and even distorted to the point of confusion in the minds of God loving/God believing people.

This ” depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction”  definition  becomes, in a sense, religious pornography.  You are always left feeling like you’ve been running, yet your feet aren’t quite touching down.  You arrive, but it’s never quite satisfying, so you run after the next idea, far fetched as it may be.  

When I have read some of the religious dialogues on other Christian forums I usually end up shaking my head. And when the subject ends in a tug-o-war, between who is right and who is more right, well, nobody wins. So, we Mormons just stay out of it. We live our life as full as possible, squeezing in time for church service in between our busy family schedules, fully satisfied with our belief in God. Some times I feel full to overflowing, like I can’t contain all of it. Other times not so much.

I still get overwhelmed and discouraged with life, but never with God. I am so completely grateful for the belief that I have. To me, God is like a corrective lens. I can see everything more clearly when I’m prepared. I don’t feel like I have to chase God in order to find Him.

Using the lens analogy, if a person is too God-focused, what distortions would that do to the lens through which you view life?   When belief is in order, the lens is correct. When you see clearly, you have healed. When you have healed it’s hard to imagine life any other way. Although this is hard to describe, that is how I feel about God. He is my valuable pair of glasses with the corrected lens. With Him dwelling in me I move through life with ease.  Seeing more clearly I am able to recognize God’s hand in timing, coincidence, and opportunity.  I testify that I know God absolutely lives.    

I have compared God to the chassis of my wagon; therefore I file this there. The reason I titled this “religious pornography” was to make a point stronger by using opposites. I’m not sure I succeeded, but the point was made to me.

CHASSIS: God The power that carries us, gives us breath, and agency to create our own wagon and chart our own course. The chassis is the framework that holds the box flat and balances the weight.

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